Herbert W Virgin

Washington University in St. Louis, San Luis, Missouri, United States

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Publications (195)1859.31 Total impact

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    Dataset: mmc3
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    Dataset: mmc1
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    Dataset: mmc4
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    Dataset: mmc2
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Mammals are co-infected by multiple pathogens that interact through unknown mechanisms. We found that helminth infection, characterized by the induction of the cytokine interleukin-4 (IL-4) and the activation of the transcription factor Stat6, reactivated murine gammaherpesvirus infection in vivo. IL-4 promoted viral replication and blocked the antiviral effects of interferon-γ (IFNγ) by inducing Stat6 binding to the promoter for an important viral transcriptional transactivator. IL-4 also reactivated human Kaposi's sarcoma associated herpesvirus from latency in cultured cells. Exogenous IL-4 plus blockade of IFNγ reactivated latent murine gammaherpesvirus infection in vivo, suggesting a "two-signal" model for viral reactivation. Thus chronic herpesvirus infection, a component of the mammalian virome, is regulated by the counterpoised actions of multiple cytokines on viral promoters that have evolved to sense host immune status.
    Science (New York, N.Y.). 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Autophagy is a lysosomal degradation pathway that is important in cellular homeostasis. Prior work showed a key role for the autophagy related 5 (Atg5) in resistance to Toxoplasma gondii. Here we show that the cassette of autophagy proteins involved in the conjugation of microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 (LC3) to phosphatidylethanolamine, including Atg7, Atg3, and the Atg12-Atg5-Atg16L1 complex play crucial roles in the control of T. gondii in vitro and in vivo. In contrast, pharmacologic modulation of the degradative autophagy pathway or genetic deletion of other essential autophagy genes had no substantial effects. Rather the conjugation system was required for targeting of LC3 and interferon-γ effectors onto the vacuolar membrane of T. gondii and its consequent disruption. These data suggest that the ubiquitin-like conjugation systems that reorganize intracellular membranes during canonical autophagy are necessary for proper targeting of immune effectors to the intracellular vacuole membranes utilized by pathogens.
    Immunity 06/2014; · 19.80 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Human noroviruses are a major cause of epidemic and sporadic gastroenteritis worldwide and can chronically infect immunocompromised patients. Efforts to develop effective vaccines and antivirals have been hindered by the uncultivable nature and extreme genetic diversity of human noroviruses. Although they remain a particularly challenging pathogen to study, recent advances in norovirus animal models and in vitro cultivation systems have led to an increased understanding of norovirus molecular biology and replication, pathogenesis, cell tropism, and innate and adaptive immunity. Furthermore, clinical trials of vaccines consisting of nonreplicating virus-like particles have shown promise. In this review, we summarize these recent advances and discuss controversies in the field, which is rapidly progressing toward generation of antiviral agents and increasingly effective vaccines.
    Cell host & microbe. 06/2014; 15(6):668-680.
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    ABSTRACT: A coding polymorphism (Thr300Ala) in the essential autophagy gene, autophagy related 16-like 1 (ATG16L1), confers increased risk for the development of Crohn disease, although the mechanisms by which single disease-associated polymorphisms contribute to pathogenesis have been difficult to dissect given that environmental factors likely influence disease initiation in these patients. Here we introduce a knock-in mouse model expressing the Atg16L1 T300A variant. Consistent with the human polymorphism, T300A knock-in mice do not develop spontaneous intestinal inflammation, but exhibit morphological defects in Paneth and goblet cells. Selective autophagy is reduced in multiple cell types from T300A knock-in mice compared with WT mice. The T300A polymorphism significantly increases caspase 3- and caspase 7-mediated cleavage of Atg16L1, resulting in lower levels of full-length Atg16Ll T300A protein. Moreover, Atg16L1 T300A is associated with decreased antibacterial autophagy and increased IL-1β production in primary cells and in vivo. Quantitative proteomics for protein interactors of ATG16L1 identified previously unknown nonoverlapping sets of proteins involved in ATG16L1-dependent antibacterial autophagy or IL-1β production. These findings demonstrate how the T300A polymorphism leads to cell type- and pathway-specific disruptions of selective autophagy and suggest a mechanism by which this polymorphism contributes to disease.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 05/2014; · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A coding polymorphism (Thr300Ala) in the essential autophagy gene, autophagy related 16-like 1 (ATG16L1), confers increased risk for the development of Crohn disease, although the mechanisms by which single disease-associated polymorphisms contribute to pathogenesis have been difficult to dissect given that environmental factors likely influence disease initiation in these patients. Here we introduce a knock-in mouse model expressing the Atg16L1 T300A variant. Consistent with the human polymorphism, T300A knock-in mice do not develop spontaneous intestinal inflammation, but exhibit morphological defects in Paneth and goblet cells. Selective autophagy is reduced in multiple cell types from T300A knock-in mice compared with WT mice. The T300A polymorphism significantly increases caspase 3- and caspase 7-mediated cleavage of Atg16L1, resulting in lower levels of full-length Atg16Ll T300A protein. Moreover, Atg16L1 T300A is associated with decreased antibacterial autophagy and increased IL-1β production in primary cells and in vivo. Quantitative proteomics for protein interactors of ATG16L1 identified previously unknown nonoverlapping sets of proteins involved in ATG16L1-dependent antibacterial autophagy or IL-1β production. These findings demonstrate how the T300A polymorphism leads to cell type- and pathway-specific disruptions of selective autophagy and suggest a mechanism by which this polymorphism contributes to disease.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 05/2014; · 9.81 Impact Factor
  • Herbert W Virgin
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    ABSTRACT: The virome contains the most abundant and fastest mutating genetic elements on Earth. The mammalian virome is constituted of viruses that infect host cells, virus-derived elements in our chromosomes, and viruses that infect the broad array of other types of organisms that inhabit us. Virome interactions with the host cannot be encompassed by a monotheistic view of viruses as pathogens. Instead, the genetic and transcriptional identity of mammals is defined in part by our coevolved virome, a concept with profound implications for understanding health and disease.
    Cell 03/2014; 157(1):142-150. · 31.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The essential immediate-early transcriptional activator RTA, encoded by gene 50, is conserved among all characterized gammaherpesviruses. Analyses of a recombinant murine gamma-herpesvirus 68 lacking both of the known gene 50 promoters (G50pDblKO) revealed that this mutant retained the ability to replicate in the simian kidney epithelial cell line Vero, but not in permissive murine fibroblasts following low MOI infection. However, G50pDblKo replication in permissive fibroblasts was partially rescued by high MOI infection. In addition, replication of the G50pDblKO virus was rescued by growth on MEFs isolated from IFNα/βR(-/-) mice, while growth on Vero cells was suppressed by the addition of IFNα. 5' rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) analyses of RNA prepared from G50pDblKo and wild-type MHV68 infected murine macrophages identified three novel gene 50 transcripts initiating from 2 transcription initiation sites located upstream of the currently defined proximal and distal gene 50 promoters. In transient promoter assays neither of the newly identified gene 50 promoters exhibited sensitivity to IFNα treatment, although RTA levels were lower in IFNα-responsive cells infected with the G50pDblKo mutant. Infection of mice with the MHV68 G50pDblKo virus demonstrated that this mutant virus was able to establish latency in the spleen and peritoneal exudates cells (PECs) of C57Bl/6 mice with about 1/10 the efficiency of wild-type virus or marker rescue virus. However, despite the ability to establish latency, the G50pDblKo virus mutant was severely impaired in its ability to reactivate from either latently infected splenocytes or PECs. Consistent with the ability to rescue replication of the G50pDblKO mutant by growth on type I interferon receptor null MEFs, infection of IFNα/βR(-/-) mice with the G50pDblKo mutant virus demonstrated partial rescue of: (i) acute virus replication in the lungs; (ii) establishment of latency; and (iii) reactivation from latency. The identification of additional gene 50/RTA transcripts highlight the complex mechanisms involved in controlling expression of RTA, likely reflecting time dependent and/or cell-specific roles of different gene 50 promoters in controlling virus replication. Furthermore, the newly identified gene 50 transcripts may also act as negative regulators that modulate RTA expression. The viral transcription factor RTA, encoded by open reading frame 50 (Orf50), is well conserved among all known gammaherpesviruses and is essential for both virus replication and reactivation from latently infected cells. Previous studies have shown that regulation of gene 50 transcription is complex. The studies reported here describe the presence of additional alternatively initiated, spliced transcripts that encode RTA. Understanding how expression of this essential viral gene product is regulated may identify new strategies for interfering with infection in the setting of gammaherpesvirus-induced diseases.
    Journal of Virology 02/2014; · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    Jason M. Norman, Scott A. Handley, Herbert W. Virgin
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    ABSTRACT: Advanced sequencing techniques have shown that bacteria are not the only complex and important microbes in the human intestine. Non-bacterial organisms, particularly the virome and the mycobiome, are important regulators of intestinal immunity and inflammation. The virome is mucosal and systemic; it can alter the host response to bacteria and interact with host genes and bacteria to contribute to disease pathogenesis. The human mycobiome is also complex and can contribute to intestinal inflammation. We review what has recently been learned about the non-bacterial and non-archaeal microbes in the gastrointestinal tract, discussing their potential effects on health and disease and analytical approaches for their study. Studies of associations between the microbiome and intestinal pathology should incorporate kingdom-agnostic approaches if we are to fully understand intestinal health and disease.
    Gastroenterology 01/2014; · 12.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The mammalian intestine is colonized by beneficial commensal bacteria and is a site of infection by pathogens, including helminth parasites. Helminths induce potent immunomodulatory effects, but whether these effects are mediated by direct regulation of host immunity or indirectly through eliciting changes in the microbiota is unknown. We tested this in the context of virus-helminth coinfection. Helminth coinfection resulted in impaired antiviral immunity and was associated with changes in the microbiota and STAT6-dependent helminth-induced alternative activation of macrophages. Notably, helminth-induced impairment of antiviral immunity was evident in germ-free mice, but neutralization of Ym1, a chitinase-like molecule that is associated with alternatively activated macrophages, could partially restore antiviral immunity. These data indicate that helminth-induced immunomodulation occurs independently of changes in the microbiota but is dependent on Ym1.
    Science. 01/2014; 345(6196):578-82.
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    ABSTRACT: ABSTRACT Pervasive transcription is observed in a wide range of organisms, including humans, mice, and viruses, but the functional significance of the resulting transcripts remains uncertain. Current genetic approaches are often limited by their emphasis on protein-coding open reading frames (ORFs). We previously identified extensive pervasive transcription from the murine gammaherpesvirus 68 (MHV68) genome outside known ORFs and antisense to known genes (termed expressed genomic regions [EGRs]). Similar antisense transcripts have been identified in many other herpesviruses, including Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus and human and murine cytomegalovirus. Despite their prevalence, whether these RNAs have any functional importance in the viral life cycle is unknown, and one interpretation is that these are merely "noise" generated by functionally unimportant transcriptional events. To determine whether pervasive transcription of a herpesvirus genome generates RNA molecules that are functionally important, we used a strand-specific functional approach to target transcripts from thirteen EGRs in MHV68. We found that targeting transcripts from six EGRs reduced viral protein expression, proving that pervasive transcription can generate functionally important RNAs. We characterized transcripts emanating from EGRs 26 and 27 in detail using several methods, including RNA sequencing, and identified several novel polyadenylated transcripts that were enriched in the nuclei of infected cells. These data provide the first evidence of the functional importance of regions of pervasive transcription emanating from MHV68 EGRs. Therefore, studies utilizing mutation of a herpesvirus genome must account for possible effects on RNAs generated by pervasive transcription. IMPORTANCE The fact that pervasive transcription produces functionally important RNAs has profound implications for design and interpretation of genetic studies in herpesviruses, since such studies often involve mutating both strands of the genome. This is a common potential problem; for example, a conservative estimate is that there are an additional 73,000 nucleotides transcribed antisense to annotated ORFs from the 119,450-bp MHV68 genome. Recognizing the importance of considering the function of each strand of the viral genome independently, we used strand-specific approaches to identify six regions of the genome encoding transcripts that promoted viral protein expression. For two of these regions, we mapped novel transcripts and determined that targeting transcripts from these regions reduced viral replication and the expression of other viral genes. This is the first description of a function for these RNAs and suggests that novel transcripts emanating from regions of pervasive transcription are critical for the viral life cycle.
    mBio 01/2014; 5(2). · 6.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The yellow fever vaccine YF-17D is one of the most successful vaccines ever developed in humans. Despite its efficacy and widespread use in over 600 million people, the mechanisms by which it stimulates protective immunity remain poorly understood. Recent studies using systems biology approaches in humans have revealed that YF-17D induced early expression of GCN2 in the blood strongly correlates with the magnitude of the later CD8(+) T cell response. Here we demonstrate a key role for virus induced GCN2 activation in programming dendritic cells to initiate autophagy and enhanced antigen presentation to both CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells. These results reveal an unappreciated link between virus-induced integrated stress response in dendritic cells and the adaptive immune response.
    Science 12/2013; · 31.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Autophagy is a key innate immune response to intracellular parasites that promotes their delivery to degradative lysosomes following detection in the cytosol or within damaged vacuoles. Like Listeria and Shigella, which use specific mechanisms to avoid autophagic detection and capture, the bacterial pathogen Francisella tularensis proliferates within the cytosol of macrophages without demonstrable control by autophagy. To examine how Francisella evades autophagy, we screened a library of F. tularensis subsp. tularensis Schu S4 HimarFT transposon mutants in GFP-LC3-expressing murine macrophages by microscopy for clones localised within autophagic vacuoles after phagosomal escape. Eleven clones showed autophagic capture at six hours post-infection, whose HimarFT insertions clustered to four genetic loci involved in lipopolysaccharidic and capsular O-antigen biosynthesis. Consistent with the HimarFT mutants, in-frame deletion mutants of two representative loci, FTT1236 and FTT1448c (manC), lacking both LPS and capsular O-antigen, underwent phagosomal escape but were cleared from the host cytosol. Unlike wild type Francisella, the O-antigen deletion mutants were ubiquitinated, and recruited the autophagy adaptor p62/SQSTM1 and LC3 prior to cytosolic clearance. Autophagy-deficient macrophages partially supported replication of both mutants, indicating that O-antigen-lacking Francisella are controlled by autophagy. These data demonstrate the intracellular protective role of this bacterial surface polysaccharide against autophagy.
    Cellular Microbiology 11/2013; · 4.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The type I interferon (IFN) response protects cells from viral infection by inducing hundreds of interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs), some of which encode direct antiviral effectors. Recent screening studies have begun to catalogue ISGs with antiviral activity against several RNA and DNA viruses. However, antiviral ISG specificity across multiple distinct classes of viruses remains largely unexplored. Here we used an ectopic expression assay to screen a library of more than 350 human ISGs for effects on 14 viruses representing 7 families and 11 genera. We show that 47 genes inhibit one or more viruses, and 25 genes enhance virus infectivity. Comparative analysis reveals that the screened ISGs target positive-sense single-stranded RNA viruses more effectively than negative-sense single-stranded RNA viruses. Gene clustering highlights the cytosolic DNA sensor cyclic GMP-AMP synthase (cGAS, also known as MB21D1) as a gene whose expression also broadly inhibits several RNA viruses. In vitro, lentiviral delivery of enzymatically active cGAS triggers a STING-dependent, IRF3-mediated antiviral program that functions independently of canonical IFN/STAT1 signalling. In vivo, genetic ablation of murine cGAS reveals its requirement in the antiviral response to two DNA viruses, and an unappreciated contribution to the innate control of an RNA virus. These studies uncover new paradigms for the preferential specificity of IFN-mediated antiviral pathways spanning several virus families.
    Nature 11/2013; · 38.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Compact viral genomes such as those found in noroviruses, which cause significant enteric disease in humans, often encode only a few proteins, but affect a wide range of processes in their hosts and ensure efficient propagation of the virus. Both human and mouse noroviruses persistently replicate and are shed in stool, a highly effective strategy for spreading between hosts. For mouse norovirus (MNV), the presence of a glutamate rather than an aspartate at position 94 of the NS1/2 protein was previously shown to be essential for persistent replication and shedding. Here, we analyze these critical sequences of NS1/2 at the structural level. Using solution NMR methods we determined folded NS1/2 domain structures from a nonpersistent murine norovirus strain CW3, a persistent strain CR6, and a persistent mutant strain CW3(D94E) . We found an unstructured PEST-like domain followed by a novel folded domain in the N-terminus of NS1/2. All three forms of the domain are stable and monomeric in solution. Residue 94, critical for determining persistence, is located in a reverse turn following an α-helix in the folded domain. The longer sidechain of glutamate, but not aspartate, allows interaction with the indole group of the nearby tryptophan, reshaping the surface of the domain. The discrimination between glutamyl and aspartyl residue is imposed by the stable tertiary conformation. These structural requirements correlate with the in vivo function of NS1/2 in persistence, a key element of norovirus biology and infection. © Proteins 2013;. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Proteins Structure Function and Bioinformatics 11/2013; · 3.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Currently, oncology testing includes molecular studies and cytogenetic analysis to detect genetic aberrations of clinical significance. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) allows rapid analysis of multiple genes for clinically actionable somatic variants. The WUCaMP assay uses targeted capture for NGS analysis of 25 cancer-associated genes to detect mutations at actionable loci. We present clinical validation of the assay and a detailed framework for design and validation of similar clinical assays. Deep sequencing of 78 tumor specimens (≥1000× average unique coverage across the capture region) achieved high sensitivity for detecting somatic variants at low allele fraction (AF). Validation revealed sensitivities and specificities of 100% for detection of single-nucleotide variants (SNVs) within coding regions, compared with SNP array sequence data (95% CI = 83.4-100.0 for sensitivity and 94.2-100.0 for specificity) or whole-genome sequencing (95% CI = 89.1-100.0 for sensitivity and 99.9-100.0 for specificity) of HapMap samples. Sensitivity for detecting variants at an observed 10% AF was 100% (95% CI = 93.2-100.0) in HapMap mixes. Analysis of 15 masked specimens harboring clinically reported variants yielded concordant calls for 13/13 variants at AF of ≥15%. The WUCaMP assay is a robust and sensitive method to detect somatic variants of clinical significance in molecular oncology laboratories, with reduced time and cost of genetic analysis allowing for strategic patient management.
    The Journal of molecular diagnostics: JMD 11/2013; · 3.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Delivery of granule contents to epithelial surfaces by secretory cells is a critical physiologic process. In the intestine, goblet cells secrete mucus that is required for homeostasis. Autophagy proteins are required for secretion in some cases, though the mechanism and cell biological basis for this requirement remain unknown. We found that in colonic goblet cells, proteins involved in initiation and elongation of autophagosomes were required for efficient mucus secretion. The autophagy protein LC3 localized to intracellular multi-vesicular vacuoles that were consistent with a fusion of autophagosomes and endosomes. Using cultured intestinal epithelial cells, we found that NADPH oxidases localized to and enhanced the formation of these LC3-positive vacuoles. Both autophagy proteins and endosome formation were required for maximal production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) derived from NADPH oxidases. Importantly, generation of ROS was critical to control mucin granule accumulation in colonic goblet cells. Thus, autophagy proteins can control secretory function through ROS, which is in part generated by LC3-positive vacuole-associated NADPH oxidases. These findings provide a novel mechanism by which autophagy proteins can control secretion.
    The EMBO Journal 11/2013; · 9.82 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

11k Citations
1,859.31 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1995–2014
    • Washington University in St. Louis
      • • Department of Pathology and Immunology
      • • Midwest Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases Research (MRCE)
      San Luis, Missouri, United States
  • 2012–2013
    • National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
      Maryland, United States
    • Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
      San Luis, Missouri, United States
  • 2007–2013
    • University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
      • Department of Microbiology
      Dallas, Texas, United States
    • San Diego State University
      • Department of Biology
      San Diego, California, United States
  • 1985–2013
    • Harvard Medical School
      • • Department of Pathology
      • • Department of Microbiology and Immunobiology
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 1993–2012
    • University of Washington Seattle
      • • Department of Immunology
      • • Department of Pathology
      • • Department of Medicine
      Seattle, WA, United States
  • 2009–2011
    • University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
      • Department of Pathology
      Galveston, Texas, United States
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
      • Division of Viral Diseases
      Atlanta, MI, United States
  • 2008
    • Mount Sinai School of Medicine
      • Department of Microbiology
      Manhattan, NY, United States
    • The Scripps Research Institute
      La Jolla, California, United States
    • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
      • Department of Microbiology and Immunology
      North Carolina, United States
  • 2006
    • Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
      • Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
    • State University of New York Upstate Medical University
      • Department of Microbiology and Immunology
      Syracuse, New York, United States
  • 2002–2003
    • Emory University
      • Department of Microbiology and Immunology
      Atlanta, GA, United States
  • 1993–2003
    • University of Colorado
      • • Department of Microbiology
      • • Department of Neurology
      Denver, CO, United States
  • 1998
    • Eastern Virginia Medical School
      • Department of Microbiology and Molecular Cell Biology
      Norfolk, Virginia, United States
  • 1996
    • University of Western Australia
      Perth City, Western Australia, Australia